FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mali coach rues disallowed goal against Spain
Mali’s coach Jonas Komla was of the opinion that if midfielder Cheick Doucoure’s effort had been allowed, it may have provided his team with some ‘luck’ to turn things around against Spain in Wednesday’s FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-finalfifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 26, 2017 10:06 IST
African champions Mali were outclassed by Spain in the second semifinal of the Fifa U-17 World Cup on Wednesday, but a discredited goal for the Mali in the 62nd minute can surely be labelled as one of the biggest talking points from the encounter.
Mali’s coach Jonas Komla was of the opinion that if midfielder Cheick Doucoure’s effort had been allowed, it may have provided Mali with some ‘luck’ to turn things around. Komla though, did go on to add that Spain deserved to win the game on back of their performance.
“Maybe the goal would have given us a little bit of luck because we would have had time to pull the goals back. But Spain did play really well and won the game by merit,” said Komla.
Cheick Doucoure had taken a thunderous shot that came off the bottom of the cross bar and dropped over the goal line before bouncing back out to Lassana Ndiaye who could only head wide. Mali were trailing by two goals at that point and the effort, if allowed, would have reduced the deficit to just one.
“I cannot speak about the referee’s decision, but that is how football is. We (Mali) tried to stick to our game plan of playing a fast game but it didn’t happen for us today,” added Komla.
On the same matter, Spanish coach Santiago Denia, while sympathising with his Malian counter part, said that a referee must be respected and also suggested that replays from the match should not be played on screens inside the stadium as they could influence the referee and the crowd.
“I can understand that the coach is upset but whether that would have changed the game or not is not easy to say. We from the Spanish federation respect the referees because theirs is not an easy job. The thing I would like to suggest is that maybe replays should not be displayed on (the) big screen inside the stadium like that because that can actually influence the referee and the people in the stadium,” opined Denia.
Despite their semifinal defeat, Komla was happy that his team had finished in the top four and are now looking to win their third place game against Brazil.
“We started with 24 teams and now we have finished amongst the best four in the world so it doesn’t disappoint us as much. We will try our best to claim the No 3 spot from Brazil,” ended Komla.
Spain will now make the journey to the east coast to take on England in the final in Kolkata on October 28. The two teams had also met each other in the U-17 Euro final earlier this year where Spain came out on top.
But Denia says that Saturday’s game being a World Cup final, it will be different as his team has a lot of work to do if they are to outdo the English once again. He also mentioned that England have improved a lot since their last meeting.
“We may have faced them (England) before but this is a different kind of game and we have to prepare for it differently.
“I cannot get into too many details but it is obvious that England has improved since we played the final. But more importantly, we have to improve considering the things we did today.”